BZBI, where you belong

Professional Staff

    Harvey Friedrich, Interim Executive Director

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    Harvey Friedrich received his Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Temple University and a Master’s in Business Administration from Philadelphia University. He spent the first half of his working life as a social worker in inpatient and outpatient mental health treatment facilities and transitioned to synagogue management in 1996.

    For several years, he was Executive Director of Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El in Wynnewood and then for 20 years was Executive Director of Beth Sholom Congregation in Elkins Park. There, he helped the Congregation in having its iconic building named a National Historic Landmark, and managed many of the details of its preservation as a historic site. He was actively involved in helping the Congregation with several major fund raising programs, and closely managed its annual appeal program. He retired from that position in March 2019.

    With an ongoing commitment to assisting people in need, he serves as Board Chairman of the Riverview Home, a Philadelphia County operated personal care facility. He was pleased to be able to assist BZBI as its Interim Executive Director as it searches for a permanent replacement for its past director. Harvey’s daughter Jennifer, along with her husband Lonny and their three sons, Jacob, Noah, and Sam are regular participants in the BZBI community.

    Sara Dasher Goldfuss, Director of Early Childhood Education

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    Sara Dasher Goldfuss comes to us with over 12 years of early childhood experience–both in the classroom and as an administrator. She most recently served as the Assistant Director of Education for the preschool at Society Hill Synagogue and prior to that held teaching positions at Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El in Wynnewood and at Germantown Jewish Centre. Sara is passionate about early childhood development and how overall well-being impacts child growth, as well as the parenting experience. She intends to foster learning and growth in every domain through intentional play and the highest quality of care using a Reggio inspired approach to learning. Both Sara and her husband Jamie are Philly natives and live in Overbook Park with their four children, Izzy, Yaffa, Toby, and Adar.

    Tracy Goodman, Childhood Education Program Coordinator

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    Tracy Goodman serves as our Early Childhood Education Program Coordinator. She has been with the program since 2006. In her role as ECE Program Coordinator, she is responsible for the oversight of the children’s records, ensuring that we meet licensing requirements, communicating with parents, and coordinating special events for our children. She particularly enjoys having the opportunity to build strong relationships with children and families. She delights in having the opportunity to take a moment, go into the classrooms, and share a book or song and a smile with the children. Tracy and her husband Carl, live in Marlton N.J. Their daughter Erica attends Rutgers University in New Brunswick and their oldest daughter, Rachel, lives in Seattle and works for the Seattle Mariners.

    David Haas, Communications Coordinator

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    David Haas is the new Communications Coordinator here at BZBI. David is replacing Jay Nachman, who filled in after Tovah Rosenthal departed several months ago. David recently moved to Philadelphia and comes to us by way of the Hebrew Free Loan Association of San Francisco. There, he had a diverse portfolio of responsibilities that included communications, marketing, fundraising, and outreach. He also serves in a volunteer capacity as a strategic communications adviser to the Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania. David has a BA from the University of Michigan and a Master’s in Human Resources Development from George Washington University. His background includes a long career as a project manager on major government technology projects, but his focus is now on supporting the Jewish Community and giving back. David is married to Rabbi Valerie Joseph and has two sons, Evan and Jacob.

    Phyllis Kramer, Temple Administrator

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    Phyllis Kramer is our Office Manager and longest-serving employee. Phyllis is the face that greets you as you come into the office, and the person most likely to know who you are and how you are connected to BZBI. She has her guiding hand on our events, programs, kiddushes, congregational announcements, and life-cycle events. Little happens smoothly without Phyllis’ care and attention to detail. She is a proud mom and grandmother.

    Rebecca Krasner, Community Engagement Specialist

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    Rebecca Krasner has been BZBI’s Community Engagement specialist since January 2019. Rebecca believes that the heart of a Jewish community are the relationships formed between people. She works to connect folks both within our BZBI community and beyond. Whether at an adult Shabbat dinner, a young family meet and greet, or Shabbat Yoga, Rebecca is anxious to get to know you and your Jewish Journey.

    Before coming to BZBI Rebecca was the Midwest Regional Director for Moving Traditions, a national program serving Jewish teens. Rebecca has also worked as a birth doula and has run educational programs in art museums. She and her husband Abe Friedman live in the Fitler Square neighborhood in Center City.

    Rabbi Max Nissen, Director of Youth and Family Education

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    Rabbi Max Nissen joined our staff in July as our Religious School and Youth and Family Services Director. Rabbi Max comes to BZBI from Congregation Beth El (Bethesda, MD), where he served as the Assistant Education Director and head of the Upper School. He also served as the rabbinic intern at the Park Slope Jewish Center (Brooklyn, New York) and as the rabbinic leader of Fitzgerald Hebrew Congregation (Fitzgerald, GA). He believes in empowering his students and their families, partnering with them to create meaningful Jewish experiences that create community, foster personal growth, and contribute to a better world.

    Leslee Schwartz, Accounts Specialist

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    Leslee Schwartz is our Financial Account Specialist addressing the day-to-day financial transactions for our members and vendors. She works closely with the treasurer and finance committee to help insure the accuracy of our financial statements. She is the go-to person for questions about your account and can easily update any information in your synagogue files. Leslee manages employee benefits and payroll for BZBI. She is a Center City resident and a former school teacher who has taught part-time in our religious school.

    Joel Chew, Maintenance Lead


    Joel Chew is the lead person in our Maintenance Department and is charged with the general maintenance of the building, facilitating set-ups for classes, meetings and services, and ensuring that the building is accommodating to our congregants and visitors. He is the person who makes sure it’s cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Joel has been on staff for 11 years and helps make BZBI the welcoming place it is.

    Brian Johnson, Senior Maintenance Expert


    Brian Johnson is our senior maintenance person. Brian has worked for BZBI for 12 years and is an expert on the facility and the nuances of our classrooms and meeting spaces. He makes sure the building is prepared for the next day’s programs and ensures its cleanliness each evening. He secures the building at the end of each day and is the smiling face that wishes those here late in the day a good evening.